Wales Brown, Nurturing Fathers Master Trainer, was selected for one of the SUNY Empire State College Student Service Awards for this year

Wales Brown Award -Service essay


Wales said I was a good candidate to help him run the Nurturing Fathers Program. I was at school and studying Human Services and Chemical Dependency. And what got me involved was I always wanted to be a part of something bigger than myself and give back to my community. Because I feel like there’s a real dying need, and co-parenting was like nonexistent in the community I grew up in. I asked, why do you just see a mother taking their child to school and why isn’t the father around? And it made me think; when I was older I could do something about it. But I never had the way, or the means, or the opportunity to make my dream come true until I met Wales”. (Muhammed Harris 2018)


My mission in the Nurturing Fathers Program and the Fathers Care Workshop seeks to build the capacity of diverse parenting education programs to meet emerging demands and needs. The goal is to: improve family functioning, reduce time children spend separated from parents, and prevent family disruptions. The intended outcome is to facilitate greater communication among family members and increase community collaborators. This mission statement can be found on my private work website and the Nurturing fathers Program website The mission statement was crafted over time as several important points of significance culminated in my work.

A Perfect Storm

As I applied to the Graduate Program in Adult learning at Empire State College (ESC), I simultaneously also applied to become part of the inaugural Leadership Training Initiative (LTI). A goal of the Initiative was to partner with a community program and provide support and development in furthering their work. I understood this to mean a social justice issue. At the same time, I was finishing a two-year Fellowship with the Zero to Three Network in Washington D.C… I was actively pursuing advancing my role to provide support, promote collaboration and increase sustainability of community organizations focused on parent education of infants and toddlers. I was accepted to the Fellowship based on my experiences and not academic achievement, and was a very big outlier in terms of previously selected Fellows. At the same time, I was also approached by Walter Simpkins, a longtime colleague involved in fatherhood work in a community program called the Community Fathers Program in Schenectady. He requested help with providing evidence that fathering programs work so he could provide outcome measures to include in grant proposals.

This “perfect storm” provided me with an opportunity to do what I am known to do. I completed research. I made calls and connected with the program developer (Mark Perlman) of a 30 year old evidence based program called the Nurturing Fathers Program (NFP) that uses a very well-known, reliable, and valid evidence based model to measure success called the Adult Adolescent parenting Inventory (AAPI). After consulting with Walter for approval, I found myself enrolled in the 2015 training to become a facilitator in the Nurturing Fathers Program. As I completed more research and participated in learning through the LTI, I became amazed in regard to the deficiency of services for fathers in terms of fatherhood education and the ways this has been used by the System (Family Court & Parole), limiting fathers from connecting with their children.

I found that fathers have often been eliminated from Family Cases with the Department of Social Services (DSS) due to absence or lack of evidence that they are fathers so they aren’t entitled to services (fatherhood education). And courts, which require parenting education for fathers to move forward, don’t fund parent education. This is often required during Support Court hearings and trials. And, while fathers are required to follow through parent education, (Courts, Parole, Probation, and DSS), the community doesn’t generally fund this work as fathers are largely characterized as “dead beat dads” choosing not to be involved. Instead, it is up to people in the community to provide the services for fathers to reconnect with family. This in effect became a social justice issue, as fathers are being ordered to do something that doesn’t exist. If a father can find a private resource, the prohibitive cost is an obstacle to being able to follow through.

Intention and Meaning in Partnership

While the Community Fathers Program is primarily designed to serve fathers involved in allegations of domestic violence, the Nurturing Father’s Program (NFP) was different, and would appeal to wider lens of fathers and fatherhood work. It would in essence, be another resource to widen opportunities for fathers. While the Community Fathers Program primarily focuses on co-parenting and conflict resolution, the NFP focuses on parenting education and concrete skills for teaching and nurturing children and family growth and development. The Nurturing Fathers Program also uniquely has fathers look at recognizing and celebrating cultural differences in families and this increases its sense of being culturally responsive.

We (me and Walter), were also encouraged to use the NFP model because I would be able to return and train other fathers to become group leaders. Our intention and goal in our work is to promote independence and look at ways for fathers to become leaders in their own communities to create sustainability. In being able to train fathers to conduct these trainings in their own communities, we can then look at how to support and mentor the work. It was from the first class I led that I was able to recruit Muhammad Harris, an incredible person that helped by co-leading groups and become a group facilitator.

The Nurturing Fathers Program

Training with Mark Perlman in Sarasota, Florida provided me with a great opportunity to connect with other people involved in fatherhood work from around the country. Mark also made himself available throughout the time I was developing the work at home, to provide some guidance and reflection on program development. It was very enlightening to learn more about the valuable measure of the AAPI through its’ use in my work. The results were planned to be used by Walter with the numbers that he would need to demonstrate improved outcomes. Using the AAPI required time learning how to set up participants and provide graphic feedback (graph) for dad’s to see progress.

From a social justice perspective, Mark and my research helped me to break out of older and outdated community scripts of ways to see fathers and fatherhood and look at newer models of fatherhood. For example, dads are not “deadbeats”; they are often faced with obstacles that prevent them from being able to parent cooperatively.   And old roles of dads as “breadwinners” are now replaced by fathers as primary caregivers. And while as a parent educator I am seeing these roles changing, the community is still often stuck in the older framework that blames dads. A powerful learning experience for me in this has been related to a more informed understanding of the long term result of mass incarceration, particularly in regard to African American and Latino men and their families.

Organizational Membership

As I began my term with the LTI, I was approached by a colleague and asked if I would be willing to serve a three year term on the National Parent Education Network ( I was unanimously elected and have served on the Council completing 2 years of my 3 year term. I have served as the Secretary and Executive Board member. In NYS, I have served for five years as a Steering Committee member on the NYS Parent Education Partnership ( I have served on: the Credentialing Committee, Chair of the Communications Committee, and Chair of the Mini Grants subcommittee. I also have presented for 3 years at the NYS Fatherhood Conference (Westchester, N.Y.). I have also presented at the Community Fathers Annual Conference in Schenectady. I was also extremely proud to have been awarded the prestigious Certified Family Life Educator credential through the National Council on Family Relations ( three years ago.

Effect of Education on Service

One of the most important aspects to all of the work I have been involved in has been the hands on use of my Graduate learning to the community projects I am working with. As a Graduate student in the Adult Learning program, I have learned about many theoretical perspectives, improving critical thinking. I have used this when speaking about the importance of fathering and fatherhood in churches, mosques and synagogues, as well as community based organizations Schenectady. I have integrated fatherhood research and practice throughout my learning and implemented this practically in my work.

For example, as I studied New Media New Literacies, I developed a podcast series called the Fatherhood Community Chat . In this video series I have been interviewing: fathers, community based organization leaders, doctors, educators, faith based leaders, and people in leadership roles. During my Club participation in the Education for All and Human Services club, I worked with the President to rent the documentary Daddy Don’t Go ( to show at ESC locations in NYC and Newburgh and Schenectady to raise awareness. Working with a community donor and ESC, we even secured having a father and producer from the film, come to the showing and participate in a community discussion following the film. The recording of this is a podcast episode! Since then, I have traveled around NYS showing this film at colleges, schools, churches, and community groups.

I found myself immersed in children’s picture books regarding fatherhood through the Keep-Mills Residency (2017) focused on Building Community in Times of Struggle . As a proponent of reading and literacy, I researched fathering and fathering portrayals in children’s picture books. A master bibliography was compiled; and a literature review with an annotated bibliography of 50 of the books reviewed was published on line at in the research section. I have presented on this work several times around the country at conferences and had a lot of positive feedback.

Through my study in New and Emerging Technologies, I learned many valuable skills in terms of social networking and social media and how to share the message of what I am doing. Having never done this before, I developed a website for the Nurturing Fathers Program so that fathers in the community leading these groups would have access to resources I used (video & tools). The website can be used by family, friends and business to see how the group is individualized here. And can be used by facilitators in the future. I also developed a Face Book site

Emerging Work

Mark Perlman validated my 2.5 years of work and development in fatherhood when I was certified in October 2017 as Master Trainer in the Nurturing Fathers Program. Celebrating my accomplishments and research, Mark has provided me with a path to train other people to become trainers in the Nurturing Father’s Program. As a result, I have recently signed a contract to train a group of 15 emerging fathering educators at the Buffalo Prenatal-Perinatal Network. I am looking forward to utilizing many of the skills in assessment and evaluation that I have learned in the Master’s Program in terms of this future training and development.

While it has been a bit of a challenge to nominate myself for this award as I don’t believe in self-promotion, I hope that ESC will see the value in the work that I have done in my service work through my education. It will be an honor for the Community Fathers Program, the Nurturing Fathers program, and fatherhood overall to see some recognition of this important social justice issue that has long been overlooked.





Military fathers benefit from Nurturing Fathers Program after deployment

Military fathers benefit from Nurturing Fathers Program after deployment

– Shared here with permission from the Daily Hampshire Gazette newspaper

My son, Connor, is an actor.

My wife, Denise, and I have watched him in all sorts of plays from heavy drama to children’s theater, with roles ranging from playing a meth addict to a rat in “Thumbelina.”

Many of his characters have dark and troubled back stories, so I’m used to seeing my son perform on stage as a vulnerable person or someone facing trauma or great adversity.

But nothing prepared me emotionally in seeing him in the role of Ted in “God’s Ear,” a powerful play by Jenny Schwartz about a married couple whose young son has just died in a swimming accident.

Ted, the husband, is a businessman who travels extensively, struggles with his grief and the enormity of his guilt over being an absent father. He escapes reality with alcohol, marital affairs and with more travel and more work, which makes him a stranger to his young daughter.

In one scene, Ted wishes he could bring his son back and had spent more time with him. “I just want my son to grow up and be happy,” he laments.

I think about that scene a lot. Sadly because it hit too close to home.

This Father’s Day, while I can’t fully understand, thank God, what it must feel like to lose a child, I can, like many military fathers, relate to separation and the inability, at frequent times in my own kids’ lives, to stay connected with them.

I estimate that I was away from home more than three years of my children’s early lives. That’s a lot of birthdays, after-school meetings, vacations, ball practices and just moments that I will never get back.

Both of my children, Connor and Meghan, are now adults and doing well, but they will forever be affected by the times in their lives when I wasn’t present. And even when I was “there,” I was often not fully aware of their own pains and struggles.

A child without a father in his or her life faces a higher risk for nearly every social pathology. They are likelier to drop out of school, go to prison, smoke, have psychological problems, get pregnant as teens, suffer from depression or commit suicide.

Children of military parents who have served in a war zone experience anger, sadness, fear, confusion, and feelings of abandonment, loss, anxiety and depression at greater rates than their peers in non-military families.

On top of that, many veterans themselves are working through their own difficulties.

At the Department of Veterans Affairs medical center in Leeds, a fathers’ support group just graduated its first class last week. It’s much needed.

Believed to be the first of its kind, the group consisted of dads who through their military and post-deployment experiences have a unique bond — they have suffered the range of challenges in being an active and responsible father — from struggling with post-traumatic stress, depression, substance abuse, joblessness, homelessness to legal issues, such as custody and visitation and relationships with their children’s mothers.

Founded by two VA peer specialists, Jason Allen and Jerome Douchette — veterans who are certified to help other veterans by formalizing relationships through peer counseling — the support group was started after Allen and Douchette saw a significant need for male veterans to meet and learn from their experiences in growing and developing their father skills.

The peer support group talks about “self-care,” health, respect, and life skills, and uses a curriculum that develops attitudes and skills for “male nurturance.”

Designed by family counselor Mark Perlman, the class uses a work book that defines a “nurturing father” as a “man who actively provides guidance, love and support to enhance the development and growth of children for whom he cares.”

Allen said it became apparent to him that such a class was needed because so many veterans, like himself and Douchette, are dealing with a multitude of barriers in striving to be the responsible fathers they want to be. That includes working through, at times, seemingly insurmountable obstacles that fathers face with visitation, custodial issues and child-support battles with the judicial and family court system.

“There was nothing out there to help us,” said Allen, an Army veteran who served in Iraq as a 19-year-old and who needed support as a young father. “The veterans we meet with are trying to figure things out, and I would say, ‘Up to now you’ve been on your own — how’s that been going for you?’”

Not very well. Like during their military service, veterans do better with teamwork, which is what the class emphasizes.

According to Allen, veterans who are fathers need their own group because their experiences are different from those of women veterans or other mothers.

“The reality is that the institutions of society put up large obstacles between fathers and their children,” said Allen.

It’s then a double whammy when a male service member returns home from war, and struggles with readjustment, perhaps has PTSD or anger issues and someone tells him he is “not fit” to be a father and can’t see his child.

Participation in a child’s life is most important to these dads.

The common theme to the class, Douchette says, is finding ways or overcoming barriers to becoming more involved in a positive and productive way with their children.

It’s also about being the parent that we should all strive to be — treating our children with respect and being a good role model. That’s done, in large measure, they both say, by prioritizing our children.

As we celebrate what it means to be a dad this Father’s Day, let’s remind ourselves of the importance of a strong father-child relationship. Not an absent father who may pay an occasional visit and provide financial support. Not a disconnected father like the Ted character my son Connor played in “God’s Ear” that hit home for me.

A favorite quote that Allen uses in class is from the anthropologist Margaret Meade: “The supreme test of any civilization is whether or not it can teach men to become good fathers.”

Good dads, they say, are made, not born.

So there is hope for every one of us, as dads, no matter where we come from.

For more information about joining a fathers’ support group, there are resources in the community. For military veterans enrolled in VA health care, contact the VA medical center in Leeds at 413-584-4040 and ask for extension 4020. For military veterans eligible for the Springfield Vet Center, marriage and family counseling is available. Call 413-737-5167. In Greenfield, a fathers’ support group meets on Tuesday nights from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Community Action Family Center, 90 Federal St.

John Paradis, a retired U.S. Air Force lieutenant colonel, lives in Florence and writes a column published the second Friday of the month. He is a veterans’ outreach coordinator for VA New England Health Care System.

Sharmain Harris finds redemption developing better fathers (NFP)

Sharmain Harris finds redemption developing better fathers

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That’s because he was in prison, doing time for dealing cocaine.

But after some time behind bars and a life-changing stint at a military-style boot camp, Harris, now 29, came out a new man. First stop: getting a job at Red Robin as a dishwasher.

 “I told myself, ‘I am going to be the best dishwasher ever at Red Robin,’” he says now. “It was very humbling.”

While he was at Red Robin, he kept trying to find a better-paying job, but his felony record was a massive barrier. Rejection was everywhere. Then one day, he walked into the Racine-Kenosha Community Action Agency’s Kenosha Women, Infants and Children office. He was invited to attend a fatherhood class; when he showed up, he was the only student.

“I took action right there. I told them I was sure I could get more guys to come,” Harris said.

Harris did, gathering up men from the Uptown neighborhood surrounding the WIC office and beyond. He got “about 20” to attend the next round of fatherhood classes at WIC. Soon enough, he was helping lead the classes, even though his hands-on fathering experience was rather limited.

“My son was just 10 months old and I was talking to guys who had 18-year-olds,” he laughs.

Harris was so successful he was offered a full-time job at the Racine-Kenosha Community Action Agency in July of 2015. He got married to his wife Shanika six weeks later. Now he is a stepfather to Raziya, 12, and his son Armani, 3.

Harris’ current title is WIC Father Involvement Coordinator. In that role, he walks fathers through a 13-week course that covers everything from cooking meals to getting a job to caring for the mother of their children. The first couple of classes focus on facing down whatever damage your own childhood did to you. In these sessions, men sometimes cry as they talk about their own dads.

 “You get in these groups with these guys and it’s like a healing session. They talk about their fathers. About mistreatment. I try not to cry, but I’ve cried before,” Harris said.

Harris is also mentoring a few dozen dads on a regular basis. One of his goals: to get the men to realize what kind of lifelong impact their own words and actions can have on a child.

“When you’re speaking to your kid, you’re talking to him as a 10-year-old, as a 20-year-old. You are talking to your own grandkids,” Harris said. “And we are role models. We are fathers to all the children in our community.”

On top of these responsibilities, Harris is also a student at Carthage College, with plans to graduate in 2021. After that, he would like to start his own business, perhaps one that promotes his unique message about the importance of being a father.

Still, his primary role in life is to be a dad to his son and daughter, and a devoted husband to his wife. His face lights up when he talks about his family.

“Being a father is a huge responsibility, but it’s nothing to be afraid of. It’s to be welcomed,” he said.

Holyoke,MA: Enlace de Familias Celebrates Nurturing Fathers Completion Ceremony

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Holyoke – Enlace de Familia staff celebrate during the Nurturing Fathers Program completion ceremony.(Submitted photo)
HOLYOKE — When Victor Andino walked into the Nurturing Fathers Program in Holyoke several months ago, he had a chip on his shoulder.

“I have been a father for 19 years. I didn’t think there was anything they could teach me,” said Andino, who was referred to the program like many men who participate. “But this program has really changed my life and the way that I will communicate with my children. I realized I had a lot to learn.”

Whether it’s a pre-release program through the prison system, referrals from the Department of Children and Families or the Center for Human Development or voluntary walk-ins, Enlace de Familias staff who run the program will take any father who is willing to learn.

The group recently celebrated a completion ceremony for the latest fathers to participate in the program, which runs in 15-week cycles several times throughout the year.

When Enlace’s executive director Betty Medina Lichtenstein first heard about the Nurturing Fathers Program over a decade ago, she knew Western Massachusetts had to become part of the solution and offer the program.

Medina Lichtenstein knows the harsh truth about what happens to many families when there is no father present.

According to data provided by Medina Lichtenstein:

63 percent of youth suicides are from fatherless homes

90 percent of all homeless and runaway children are from fatherless homes

71 percent of all high school dropouts are from fatherless homes

80 percent of all youths in prison grew up in fatherless homes

“There are a lot of services to help young, single mothers, but not so many for fathers,” Medina Lichtenstein said. “I knew that if we could get these fathers to come through the program, we would be making a difference not only for them but for their families, their children and ultimately our community.”

Enlace has a trained team of professionals including Roy J. Lichtenstein, who serves as the master trainer and program coordinator, and program facilitators Efrain Santana, Freddy De Jesus and Carmelo Solivan. They work with the fathers on parenting skills, teaching them about how to discipline their children but also how to be caring and engaged parents.

All of the fathers took a moment to speak about the kind of father they want to be. Some spoke from their hearts, others wrote down detailed notes, others only said a few words. Opening up and communicating is not easy for many of them, said Lichtenstein, who has worked with many fathers in the program.
“The program always provided the most encouraging messages, and I can’t stress how much we need this program in our community.” — Richard Kilpatrick

“I am always so proud of them because when they first come to us a lot of them don’t want to share or participate, but that’s not how we do things. We need all of the fathers to feel comfortable expressing themselves, their concerns and their fears with us because that’s how they develop the skills to be better parents,” he said.

Javier Melero is a 19-year-old father of a 1-year-old son. He said he hopes to be the best father he can. “I want to do the best for my children, give them love and affection, protect them and love them with all of my heart,” he said.

Jeff Pelky said he hopes to be a better father than his dad was to him. “I will always be there for my kids and put their needs before everything else. I will be the kind of father that never gives up on his family,” he said.

Mark Chevalier said he hopes to be his son’s father and friend. “Unfortunately, being a father does not come with an instruction manual. I have made my mistakes, but I want to be the kind of father that maintains my sense of humor with my son but will still set boundaries when needed. My son is the best thing that ever happened to me, and I want to be the best role model for him,” he said.

Richard Kilpatrick was another of the older fathers in the program. “I’m 46 years old and I’m a grandfather with two adult children, so I’m thinking coming in, ‘What can I be taught?’ I’m from a big family with a lot of traditions. What I got was what I was overlooking all the time: You have your children, but that doesn’t mean that you are a good father.

“You have to nurture that relationship. The program always provided the most encouraging messages, and I can’t stress how much we need this program in our community,” he said tearing up. “See they set me up, they left me for last because they know I’m sensitive.”

The event included a presentation with awards given to Jay Breines, the chief executive officer of Holyoke Health Center, and State Rep. Aaron Vega, D-Holyoke.

Breines received the Community Champion Award, given to a person who exemplifies community leadership through their actions, and Vega received the Community Alliance Award, given to a person whose overall work, leadership and dedication shape the character and vibrancy of communities in Western Massachusetts.

Vega said growing up he had a strained relationship with his father, Carlos Vega, a well-respected social activist who fought for Latino rights until his death four years ago.

“A lot of people talk about my dad, he was very good to the community, but he wasn’t a perfect dad either. There were times early on in my younger life when he wasn’t around,” he said. “We were able to make up for that in later life, and before he passed we had a great relationship … congratulations to all of the fathers.”

The event also included a celebration for those who completed the Managing and Parenting Program geared toward couples, married or unmarried, to help them improve their parenting skills.

The program is a partnership between the City of Holyoke and the Community Block Grant, the Massachusetts Department of Children and Families, Greater Holyoke Coordinated Family and Community Engagement and others.

The Causal Effects of Father Absence

The Causal Effects of Father Absence

Annual Review of Sociology

Vol. 39: 399-427 (Volume publication date July 2013)
DOI: 10.1146/annurev-soc-071312-145704
Sara McLanahan,1 Laura Tach,2 and Daniel Schneider3
1Office of Population Research, Princeton University, Princeton, New Jersey 08544; email:
2Department of Policy Analysis and Management, Cornell University, Ithaca, New York 14853; email:
3Department of Sociology and Robert Wood Johnson Scholars in Health Policy Research Program, University of California, Berkeley, California 94720; email:
Web of Science ®: Related Records ®


The literature on father absence is frequently criticized for its use of cross-sectional data and methods that fail to take account of possible omitted variable bias and reverse causality. We review studies that have responded to this critique by employing a variety of innovative research designs to identify the causal effect of father absence, including studies using lagged dependent variable models, growth curve models, individual fixed effects models, sibling fixed effects models, natural experiments, and propensity score matching models. Our assessment is that studies using more rigorous designs continue to find negative effects of father absence on offspring well-being, although the magnitude of these effects is smaller than what is found using traditional cross-sectional designs. The evidence is strongest and most consistent for outcomes such as high school graduation, children’s social-emotional adjustment, and adult mental health.


Father credits program for helping his family

Joe Johnson: Take Heart – A Father’s Perspective
Posted Feb. 28, 2014
Jason loves his four kids. He is proud to be living with his wife and children in their newly purchased home. Not long ago, however, he was struggling with the stress of a number of issues, including unemployment and loss of custody of his children.

      Read more, click link:

Strengthening (Canadian) Families One Dad at a Time

Gary Jenkins smiles broadly as he holds up his graduation certificate. It’s the first one he’s ever received, and now he’s keen to get many more. What’s truly unique is his choice of course to achieve it: the Nurturing Father’s Program (NFP) created by Mark Perlman, a Florida Supreme Court certified family mediator. The county’s first 13-week NFP was run by the Highlands Community Pregnancy Care Centre (HCPCC) this spring. Single father Jenkins and four other dads graduated in June. Jenkins, 26, is by turns quiet and exuberant. He has two sons and would like a bigger role in their lives. “I’m beyond patient now,” says Jenkins. “I do everything different now. My whole life’s kind of changed in a way.”

HCPCC provides pre and postdelivery support to women faced with an unplanned pregnancy and support or post-abortion trauma. President Julie Goodwin says clients often wish similar versions of some support programs were available for fathers. Goodwin recently took a webinar featuring the NFP and found it was designed for a wide audience – not only single dads, but also perhaps a teacher who recognizes he’s a role model, or a grandfather raising his grandchild. NFP topics include discipline withoutviolence, managing anger and resolving conflict, communication and problemsolving, teamwork with spouse/partner, and the joys of fathering. Goodwin proposed the program to the HCPCC board. Director Ron Mahler watched the webinar and recommended purchasing the curriculum. The board approved. The course and materials were free to participants thanks to several community partners. When the nonprofit HCPCC sent out letters requesting support, “I was blown away by the response,” says Goodwin. “It was a tremendous encouragement.” Mahler and Goodwin’s husband, Terry, who has 25 years of social services experience, served as trained facilitators“For me it was a no-brainer,” says Terry. “The program uses a lot of the same premises that different cognitive behavioural approaches use – anger management, partner assault.” The group found space at Haliburton’s Full Gospel Lighthouse. Pastor Doug Ross dropped in halfway through the program and stayed on. “I saw the reaction of the young men as they were just readily receiving all this information, that they could change their lives, they could become better dads, and they were so willing to accept the responsibility,” says Ross. Jenkins was seven when his father died. Essentially he was raised by his grandfather. “He taught me to be responsible,” says Jenkins. “I guess I was just too young and arrogant… I wasn’t listening, but I never forgot.” Jenkins was recently released from jail after 11 months. He moved away from his old friends and accompanying temptations, settled in the county took the NFP program and joined a 12-step program. Ross and the Goodwins talk about the connections that developed among the program facilitators and participants despite age differences. “Men being men, they don’t talk about this stuff,” says Terry. “This was sort of a safe place, and it took a while to getthere where they would talk, but then they would see the other two facilitators [Doug and Ron]… had some of the same struggles as they had, so they would relate and they would open upand they would talk about it.” “Take the program,” Jenkins recommends. “It’s very, very worth it and you’re going to see some changes, very good, big changes in your life and your family’s life.” “It’s definitely going to make a difference for the kids, and guaranteed that the mothers are going to be 10 times better,” he continues. “We do the program, we understand the program she just sees the change that you are doing [for] you and your children.” “You’re wise beyond your years young man,” says Ross. “It took me 40 years to realize that.” Jenkins says he plans to take the course again. Terry and Ross also plan to take it. They are also planning a monthly gettogether to provide continued support and fellowship for the grads. While the NFP is not faith-based, they’re calling the graduate group “A Wing and a Prayer.”

HCPCC is planning another NFP for the fall, perhaps in Minden, and Julie is looking ahead to what a follow-up program might look like. Unable to attend their graduation ceremony, Mahler wrote an address to the fathers, saying it was “neat to be able to just be ourselves as men and dads, no judgment – only support and understanding.” “May we apply the grace we gave to each other, to our children and their mothers. May the past few months be a launching pad for better things ahead.”

To register for the fall NFP, contact
HCPCC at 705-457-4673.

By Lisa Harrison
Contributing writer, The Highlander
Issue 91,
July 11, 2013

Anatomy of a FATHER by Sachin Trivedi (Our NFP Contact in Ahmedabad, India)

F : Fun

A : Accessible

T : Thoughtful

H : Husband

E : Encouraging

R : Responsible & Roaring



Fun changes the way we do things for better!!!! This is the slogan used in a campaign “fun theory” promoted on YouTube by Volkswagen Group; and i fully support to the fact that Fun brings around a change for the better… Try to bring the element of Fun in whatever you do with your kid and see how well it is responded by your child.
Try to act as if you are chasing the germs away in a fight with them while brushing the teeth and eventually you will see a super hero in your child who has chased away all the germs with a superb brushing session!!! the child will wait for the time of brushing the teeth’s “Twice a Day” 
Make funny songs for the family members, friends, and daily chores; make a family anthem.
Cook a meal together while making music with utensils, it will bring a cheer to the process. Characterize the ingredients like Mr. Salt, Mrs. Chilly, Curly Coriander, Sweety Pie Sugar, Tangy Tomato and so on…
Tell a story while making funny noises about the characters or animals involved in the story. Jump & act around like the characters. Try to make it Live, try to make it more Fun. Years later your child will remember the experiences and definitely he’ll say that “Dad was Fun”
Your Kids Childhood will come only once in his life; you have a choice, make it Fun 


A stitch in time saves nine. If you wish your child should never get lost or distracted, then don’t be lost to them, be yourself accessible to them during their childhood.
Spending time with your child will help you to understand them better. You will learn to identify their strengths, emotions, likes, dislikes, tastes & preferences.
Here you don’t have a choice; it’s imperative to give MAXIMUM “QUALITY” TIME to your Children.
Don’t be on phone while listening to your child; either the person on phone or your child, any one of them can wait, and you know who could wait at that time.
Bring work life balance especially when it comes to upbringing of your children
LISTEN when your child wants to say something to you; be a good audience if you want a good player out of your child.
Your time is an investment for a return which will be passed on even to your generations to come.


Fathering has to be a selfless act, a Kind gesture, a thoughtful action, a sympathetic approach, an attentive association.
Small acts of selflessness can sow the seeds of a greater value in your child
Say a thank you to the liftman each time you use the lift in your building.
Say a thank you to the security guard who helps open & close the door.
Treat all the people with utmost respect.
Nurture your kids well. Be thoughtful or be ready to have kids who are thoughtless!!!


If you wish to be a good father then you have to be the best husband.
Loving your Childs mother is the foundation of trust, care & love for your child.
Your Children will be good at relationships, they will be emotionally strong.
They will display a sense of togetherness while in a team, in the family, in their lives.
Appreciate your wife whole heartedly, show her respect, communicate, trust, cheer, motivate, support, collaborate with her at home; your child will realise these values early on in life.
Your wife is your better half, so be the best to express it…


Encouraging is an emotional connect. Emotional connect is through heart. Heart is the core of everything.
“The working senses are superior to the body, mind is higher than the senses, intelligence is still higher than the mind; and he (the soul) is even higher than the intelligence”
Encouragement is all about instilling confidence in your child. It’s all about making her realise the potential she has. It’s all about making the child feel proud about herself.
Your spending time with your child could be an encouragement.
Your visiting her school for parent intervention could be an encouragement
Your reading a story to her could be an encouragement
Your playing with her could be an encouragement
Your Listening to her can be an encouragement
Your every engagement with your child is an encouragement
encourage >>> enhance >>> emotional quotient


A responsible father displays his responsibility in every action.
At times it could be an adverse economic situation at home, but a responsible father always knows that the adverse situation is temporary, and things will be fine again with his efforts and faith. And, while the time advances towards better economic situation, the Father precisely takes care that he takes the “right path” to do so and does not practice any unethical behaviour which can cause a dent in his responsibilities towards fathering.
In sound economic condition, he ensures to share his wealth for making the society a better place to live, thus creating an exemplary practice of Responsible Fathering.
It’s a fathers responsibility to nurture his children with utmost love & care
It’s the fathers responsibility to instil confidence & empathy in their children
It’s the fathers responsibility to create a value based culture for their children & the family
A Responsible Father Nurtures a Holistically Developed Child, such Children make a superior Society, Superior Societies makes a progressive Nation and a Happier world…………..


You have to be a Roaring Father…
Your Roar should be heard around the world, a roar of a “FATHER”
Spread the roaring Cheer… Spread the roaring happiness…
A Roar of love
A Roar of nourishment & care
A Roar of confidence
A Roar of encouragement
A Roar for smiles
A Roar for making this world a happier place

Your choice; you can Furore or you can Roar……  Roar of a FATHER

“The Nurturing Father’s Program has Changed my Life”


                The nurturing father program has changed my life.  Life’s circumstances kept my son and I from being in each other’s lives until he was nine years old.  At that point I obviously didn’t know how to be a father.  My father and I tended to avoid each other while I was growing up so there was no help there. 

                When Trevor moved in, there was a lot of arguing and fighting.  After about a year, I was referred to the Nurturing Family Center.  I was amazed and relieved that the program was free.  I went into the class skeptical, but decided the techniques were worth a try.  I noticed within two weeks Trevor and I were arguing less.  Every week life in my house kept getting easier.  After approximately four weeks I noticed that not only was life easier, but we were talking more.  Trevor was a shy kid, didn’t really know how to express his feelings and then seemingly overnight he was talking to me about everything going on in his life.  By the end of the twelve week program, my house runs like clockwork, and more importantly, my son smiles and laughs, a lot.  Our relationship has strengthened to the point that our family counselor told us that we don’t need to go anymore.  Counseling can’t do anything for us that we haven’t already done (and do every day).

                After seeing the success of everything I worked on with Trevor, I decided to adapt the techniques and reconnect with my dad.  I was again amazed with the results.  It’s been about four months since my program has ended, and in that four months my dad and I have talked more than we have in the last 18 years.  I am finally getting to know the man that raised me and I’m grateful for this opportunity.  Even my mom has commented that since we’ve been talking, the entire family has been closer. 

                My family life has changed so much because of this program.  I can’t thank everyone enough.  I am eternally grateful to Chris, Tom, and everyone involved with this organization.  I am now an overall happier person because of how strong my family has become.

received on June 27, 2012